With so many new restaurants popping up each week, it’s hard to put the fork down long enough to indulge in any other local lifestyle trends. But while you were busy slurping swanky noodle soup at UnderBelly and sharing playful small plates at Saltbox, San Diego’s leading entertainment developers were making major moves all across the city.
New San Diego bars on the scene include Harbor Town Pub in Point Loma, a step child in the Waterfront family; Tiger! Tiger! Tavern in North Park, the newest craft brew venture by Blind Lady Ale House; and The Lion’s Share in the Marina, a mysterious player in a surprising locale. More new bars coming to town range from barleymash, The Verant Group’s baby taking over the Whiskey Girl space; to Area 51, a “futuristic” hookah ultra-lounge; and the new Culy Warehouse identity, to be determined by Good Time Design.
Get your drink on at the best new San Diego bars.
barleymash: After one last hoorah on New Year’s Eve, Whiskey Girl will close up shop and move to a new location on 5th Avenue, in the space formerly occupied by Trattoria La Strada. The Verant Group will then start construction on its newest venture, barleymash. In line with the entertainment powerhouse’s popular local venues, including Sandbar, West Coast Tavern, True North, Tavern at the Beach, Offshore Tavern and Brewley’s Pint, barleymash is expected to be a casual restaurant and bar with interactive entertainment, sports bar appeal and daily specials. Watch for barleymash on the corner of Fifth and Market in early 2012.
Culy Warehouse: Good Time Design, an unstoppable restaurant and entertainment development and consulting firm in San Diego, has announced plans to turn Culy Warehouse into a new restaurant and lounge concept. Culy, which is best known as an urban warehouse-style event space, has a great location on Sixth Avenue, and is poised to become a new downtown hot spot. Good Time Design knows what the locals want, as evidenced by their expanding menu of lifestyle venues, including Bub’s, Double Deuce, RT’s Longboard Grill, 1st Street Bar, and the latest Knotty Barrel and Bootlegger which opened this summer. Culy’s new identity is slated for early 2012.
Area 51 Hookah Ultra Lounge: Following in the footsteps of Pasha Lounge, Area 51 is an upscale hookah bar concept coming to Fifth Avenue in downtown San Diego in early 2012. Area 51 claims to have created the hookah lounge experience of the future, boasting a "surreal" interior design, LED and fiber optic light technology, state-of-the-art sound system, and DJ booth. As electronic music beats fill your mind, kick back and enjoy a hookah. Area 51 will be a full service hookah lounge serving beers and sweet pastries.
The Lion’s Share: Downtown’s Marina District has long been defined by sky high condo developments, mega hotels, and the waterfront Seaport Village attraction. But now there’s a new kid in town, bringing craft cocktails and small bites to Kettner Boulevard. The Lion’s Share is an intimate cocktail den located on the south end of Kettner near Harbor Drive that believes in sophisticated spirits made with fresh ingredients, opening late 2011. (pictured above)
Harbor Town Pub: Chad Cline, part-owner of The Waterfront, has invaded Point Loma, transforming the former Roseville space into a laidback bar dedicated to great food and drinks. Although it’s a new spot, Harbor Town embraces Point Loma’s deep roots in the fishing industry, evoking the same historic charm and community-driven atmosphere as Waterfront, San Diego’s oldest tavern. Inside, the décor is simple and understated, with dark wood accents, high top tables, dim lighting, a retractable wall bringing the outside in, and flat screen TVs lining the big bar. (pictured left)
Tiger! Tiger! Tavern: The owners of Blind Lady Ale House expanded to North Park with a new craft beer joint, Tiger! Tiger! Tavern, which opened doors in late October. Tiger! Tiger! serves a simple menu of well-made sandwiches and wood-fired oysters that are prepared on a wood burning oven. But what is a great oyster without a pint of beer? Tiger! Tiger! is focused on the craft beer program, and features a high-tech direct draw drought system that keeps the stainless steel lines as short as possible, ensuring pure, flavor-packed brew for you. The beer list is scribbled across a black chalkboard, and includes Coronado Orange Avenue Wheat, Ale Smith Speedway Stout, Russian River IPA and Avery Ellie’s Brown Ale.
McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon: Dubbed the wildest Irish pub on earth, McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon moved into the former Deco’s space on Fifth Avenue this past October This big brand chain boasts locations all across the country, and our new McFadden’s dishes out a menu of bar grub while hosting cocktail-fueled college-style dance parties every night of the week. The two-story indoor/outdoor venue features 40 HD TVs showing all major sports games, bottle service booths, and even a 2,200 square-foot open air patio. DiscoverSD hosted a Revenge of the Nerds-themed grand opening party on October 22nd.
The Griffin: Earlier this summer, The West Group transformed the former O’Connell’s Pub into a new age neighborhood dive. This under-the-radar Clairemont spot remains the same in size and atmosphere, yet the party pros upgraded the experience. The old carpeting was replaced with hardwood floors, topped with new booths, light fixtures, and surrounded by red décor. In addition to billiards, TVs, and juke box sound, The Griffin hosts local artists, DJs, and live bands on a small stage.
SIP Wine Bar: Restaurateur and owner of Flavor Del Mar, Jeff Hunter recently opened SIP Wine Bar, a late summer addition to the Del Mar Plaza. An intimate wine bar and lounge located behind Flavor, SIP provides Plaza guests with a stylish environment designed by Thomas Schoos, and a simple menu focusing on specialty cheeses and charcuteries house-made in a custom built meat curing room. SIP’s wine program features approximately 40 wines by the glass, as well as a selection of local craft beers and specialty cocktails.
F6ix: The RMD Group introduced hip-hop loving locals to San Diego’s newest subterranean nightlife experience this summer. F6ix’s official grand opening party went down on June 24th, hosted by Crystal Harris, Hugh Hefner’s notorious runway bride. From the point of entrance on F Street and Sixth Avenue in the Gaslamp Quarter, party-seekers are guided down a staircase to the intimate 6,000 square-foot dance club, complete with a 50-foot-bar, bi-level VIP bottle service tables, and a prominently situated DJ booth that overlooks a central dance floor with a disco ball shining above. This winter, F6ix launched a new Rolling Blackout industry Sunday night party series.
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